Kromme-Geelhout Conservancy qualifies for Nature Reserve status
The biodiversity value of the Kromme-Geelhout Conservancy was recently assessed by the Eastern Cape Biodiversity Stewardship Programme Review Panel and it was determined that the Kromme-Geelhout Conservancy qualifies for Nature Reserve status, as outlined by the Biodiversity Stewardship framework and contemplated in Section 23 of the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act (Act 57 of 2003).
In reaching its decision, the Review Panel was of the opinion that the Kromme-Geelhout Conservancy is of considerable biodiversity value with unique characteristics and landscape features that is critical for the conservation of threatened vegetation types, as well as a variety of threatened and endemic plant and animal species. Conservancy received a high evaluation score for a Nature Reserve, which was largely a result of its importance for maintaining ecological connectivity in the landscape through the preservation of the riparian corridor along the Kromme river and Geelhoutboom river; the presence of threatened species and vegetation types on the site; and its importance for maintaining the ecological integrity of the Kromme river and Geelhoutboom river systems. All of these factors make it an important site for biodiversity stewardship in the province.
The following conditions were agreed to by the Review Panel in conferring Nature Reserve status on the site:
- Enough of the Kromme-Geelhout Conservancy members should be willing to have their land included in the Nature Reserve, so that a fairly contiguous Nature Reserve of a reasonable size can be formed.
- The development of additional residential areas should be limited to those areas that were originally set aside for development purposes and for which provision will be made in the Management Plan. Note that the Management Plan will be developed with landowners’ input and can be tailored to their needs.
Involvement in biodiversity stewardship is completely voluntary and the next stage in the completion of the biodiversity stewardship process will involve the development of appropriate management objectives and a Management Plan for the Kromme-Geelhout Conservancy, as well as the legal agreements that are related to it. The Management Plan and legal agreements will be developed with the landowners’ input and can be tailored to their needs. Please note that this process will be facilitated by Conservation Outcomes through the Greater Kromme Stewardship initiative.
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